Apple and Samsung have been fighting out their legal battle for three years now, and it doesn’t seem to be coming to an end. This war, which has encompassed most of the globe with different results in different parts of the world, has seen the two companies go from being partners to enemies. Popularly known as the “smartphone patent wars,” the battle which was started by Steve Jobs carries on after his death. Here we summarise the story so far.
Apple sues Samsung for infringement of its intellectual property — patents, trademarks and user interface — saying Samsung has “slavishly” copied its products. This was a remarkable incident for the fact that Samsung was one of Apple’s component suppliers. Samsung countersues Apple in South Korea, Japan and Germany for infringement of 10 patents, mainly involving 3G technology.
August to September, 2011
Apple wins a preliminary design-related injunction against Samsung in the European Union which banned the sale of Galaxy Tab 10.1. The ban is later lifted in all EU countries, except Germany. Dutch and Australian courts follow suit.
Apple ordered by Australian court to reveal the iPhone 4S source code. For the first time, Apple designs become public.
Galaxy Tab 10.1 is back on sale in Australia. In the US, Judge Lucy Koh denies Apple’s request to ban Samsung’s Galaxy smartphone and tablets.
Samsung wins 3G patent ruling in The Hague, following which Apple needs to pay compensation.
Apple wins injunction banning the sale of Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Nexus in the US over infringement of auto-correct feature.
UK court rules in favour of Samsung, saying the Galaxy Tab design is “not as cool” as iPad’s. By the end of the month Apple and Samsung are involved in a legal battle in more than 50 countries.
During the first California lawsuit, Judge Koh asks Apple’s attorneys if they’re “smoking crack” after they submitted a 75-page briefing on the last day of argument. Apple is eventually awarded $1 billion as the jury rules in its favour, agreeing that 26 Samsung products infringed on Apple’s patents. Soon after, Apple adds more products to the infringement list and starts another lawsuit in Northern California.
While it has won its battle in the US, Apple loses the patent infringement case in South Korea and Japan.
UK court orders Apple to run a public notice admitting that Samsung did not copy its iPad design.
Judge Koh denies Apple’s request for a permanent injunction on Samsung products, allowing Samsung to sell its products in the US.
Judge Koh holds a retrial on the $1 billion damages awarded to Apple, bringing the penalty down to $929 million.
The second US trial in Northern California begins, covering patents like auto-complete feature and multimedia synchronisation.
Ruling is in the favour of Apple, with the jury awarding it damages worth $119.6 million. Apple was also found guilty of infringing a few of Samsung’s patents, but the penalty was for just $158,400.
Apple and Samsung agree to end their patent dispute outside US.
The most recent news in the patent war is of Judge Koh denying Apple’s request to ban the sale of nine Samsung devices.
Watch this space as we keep you updated with all that’s happening in this most entertaining of wars between the two giants.
Image Credit: www.sammobile.com